Thursday, May 29, 2008

Learning to be happy with what you have

Last night I slept like a total ROCK. It was the first night in 6 weeks that I have been able to sleep however I want and get no pain. I am a tummy sleeper and I tend to bury my face in my pillow so it was nice to be able to do that without waking up every 30 minutes with some sharp wires digging into the insides of my cheeks or lip. I fell asleep about 10 watching Top Chef, then woke up at midnight when my alarm went off to take my antibiotic, then went right back to sleep and slept until 6 am when my alarm went off again to take my antibiotic, and then slept until 7 when it was time to wake my daughter up for school. I felt so wonderful when I got up today! The lack of sleep has been adding to my stress level these days, and I honestly think that is part of the reason why my face is breaking out and I have been having mood swings, because I am just so exhausted all the time. I really needed that!

Anyway, I did notice something today that has set me on edge a bit. As my chin heals and shrinks up, the area underneath my chin (between my jawline and my neck) is still swollen outwards like a bullfrog almost. The doctor said it is because of all the damaged and inflamed tissue and muscle inside from having had my neck cut so many times for surgeries. But before when my chin was first done and it looked awesome, it was still "big" enough to cover up that area. Now that it shrinks up if I lift my head up even a little I look like I have a double chin from the swelling underneath my neck. It is not attractive. I always have to have something to worry about lately and I just hate that. There is never really any sense of calm.

This made me start thinking about how as humans we are just never really happy. We always say "if I just had ___ I would be so much happier." It could be anything really...if I just had more money, if I could just lose this amount of weight, if I could just have the boobs/lips/eyes of Angelina Jolie, etc etc. This is what fuels part of the obsession with plastic surgery for (especially) women in our society to always be wanting to look better and better. I think it is just in our nature to always be wanting wanting more- but when you get it, believe me, you always find other things that you "just need" to be totally happy. Sometimes those things seem so unattainable to you, so you think that they are the key to your happiness because you just know you will never have it so you think of it all the time. Well, that is how it is with my face I guess. I swore for the last 2 1/2 years "if I could just get my chin fixed, I would be completely happy- screw the teeth, I dont care about how my neck scar looks, etc." Then what happens...things go well and the doctors fix my chin and from the front yes I do look 'normal' now, even somewhat attractive would think that would be enough for me, as I swore to myself just this time last year if I could just have this I wouldnt ask for anything else. But no, now I am looking at all the other imperfections and how I just need that fixed (just today I said to myself "I am going to have to talk to the doctor about this next time I see him").

I cant help but wonder how much of this is just human nature to always want more or how much of this is pure selfishness and conceit. A lot of people who have dealt with what I had have come out far worse on the other side of it. Horrid nerve damage that causes constant pain, lopsided faces from bad healing, eye sockets gone or roofs of mouths gone. In other countries where they cannot get medical help they live until the tumor goes up into their brain and slowly kills them- but not before it leaves them horribly disfigured and alienatedby society first, like this poor man: Photobucket

Some people even die from having the malignant variety. The truth is, this is just such a rare thing that not a lot of doctors even know how to handle it, a lot of people cannot afford to go to the "top doctors" who know about it, so they end up on the receiving end of someone who has maybe only done one other surgery like this in their life (if at all) and the patient becomes like some kind of medical "tester" in a way. I have been blessed to have Drs. Indresano and Mobati who not only have done hundreds of these cases, but are in the next town over, AND take my chintzy crappy insurance to boot. And here I am wanting more and more.

I want to get to a place where I can just be happy with myself inside and be satisified. This is something that I have been thinking about these past few days. I wonder if I will ever get to that point in my life where I can say enough is enough, Tina, and just be satisfied that I have overcome this medical condition, am not so hideous that people stare, and have a family that loves me the way I am. I think I need to better learn to love me the way I am.

Meh...I'm working on it. ;)

1 comment:

agos dela cruz said...

i am also an ameloblastoma patient way back on the year 2006 when i was only 18 years old.. i know how hard it is to see your face nearly breaking differently from the way it used to be.sometimes, i get so depressed even if it was 3 years ago.. i hope you're recuperating very well as i am also trying for myself! thanks for your blog. i was able to relate my feelings with yours. GODBLESS and GOOD HEALTH!